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Turkey orders arrest of 219 soldiers in Gulen investigation - Anadolu

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By Reuters

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish prosecutors ordered the detention of 219 soldiers with suspected links to the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016, state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Friday.

Police have conducted a steady stream of raids against alleged supporters of the preacher Fethullah Gulen since the coup attempt in July 2016, in which 250 people were killed. Gulen denies involvement.

On the orders of the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office, an operation was launched at 01:00 am (2200 GMT) to seize the suspects, all soldiers on active service including four colonels, the Hurriyet newspaper website reported.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey would start new initiatives abroad to target the financing of Gulen supporters.

(Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Stephen Coates)